Raising Specter of Nuclear Terror, Iran-Backed Houthis Claim that They Targeted UAE Reactor

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels said they fired a cruise missile at a nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates raising the specter of nuclear terror, Reuters reported on Sunday.

The Houthis, which control most of northern Yemen, said they targeted the UAE as part of the Saudi-led coalition that is waging war against them. “The missile force announces the launching of a winged cruise missile … towards the al-Barakah nuclear reactor in Abu Dhabi,” they claimed in a statement.

The rebels, however, produced no evidence to back up their story, which was reported by the Houthi-affiliated al-Masirah TV station, and there were no reports of any missiles reaching the UAE. The emirate, like other U.S. Gulf allies in the region, has the Patriot Missile defense system capable of shooting down ballistic missiles

It is the second time this year that the Houthis claimed to have fired missiles towards the emirate. They said a few months ago that they had “successfully” test fired a missile towards Abu Dhabi.

According to the United Nations’ 2005 International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, a reactor could constitute nuclear terrorism. An attack on such a facility could cause the release of radioactive material, which would lead to mass casualties among the surrounding population.

Last month, as the alliance with former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was unraveling, the Houthis fired a ballistic missile at the Saudi capital’s international airport in Riyadh, which was reportedly intercepted by Saudi air defenses. The attack, however, upped the stakes in the regional showdown between the Saudi-led coalition of Arab states and Iran.

Yemen is the latest project in Iran’s grand plan of ascendancy in the region for which they use the Houthi rebels as a vehicle of projecting power on the Arabian Peninsula. If they succeed in building a lasting stronghold in the county, Iran, with the support of their local proxies, would then allow Iran to assert control over the wider Middle East through the establishment of two Shiite “crescents.”

[Photo: Haaretz / YouTube ]